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The United Nations' Türk urges for a political solution to end the "horror" in Gaza.
Middle East World News

The United Nations’ Türk urges for a political solution to end the “horror” in Gaza.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights called upon the conflicting parties in Geneva to make room for a solution to end the ongoing tragedy.

Mr. Türk expressed strong disapproval for the indiscriminate attacks on non-combatants during the recent five weeks of conflict and called for those responsible to be held accountable for their serious human rights abuses.

He emphasized that international humanitarian law prohibits attacks on “hospitals, schools, markets, and bakeries,” as well as collective punishment, such as Israel’s blockade and siege on Gaza.

Palestinian armed groups are also guilty of “indiscriminately targeting southern Israel” and “taking hostages” as well as “using civilians as human shields to protect their locations from military attacks”.

He stated that he stands with every civilian, whether Palestinian or Israeli, who is suffering or living in fear.

Ceasefire now

After informing Member States and journalists in Geneva about the dire humanitarian crisis in the enclave, Mr. Türk brought attention to the numerous deaths of patients at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City and the increasing number of healthcare facilities being targeted in the Strip. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 137 attacks on healthcare since October 7th.

The United Nations human rights leader discussed individuals who were compelled to relocate towards the south due to Israeli airstrikes and conflict on the land. These individuals were described as carrying older relatives and frightened, occasionally injured children, making their way cautiously on a road filled with bomb craters. The speech also mentioned those who were unable to leave and are currently stuck in the isolated northern region of Gaza.

According to Mr. Türk, it is essential to pause hostilities and prioritize humanitarian efforts, as stated in Security Council resolution 2712 passed on Wednesday evening. He urged all parties involved in the conflict to promptly implement the Council’s requests.

Safe zones ‘untenable’

The High Commissioner repeated the 10-point proposal given by UN emergency relief leader Martin Griffiths on Wednesday. This included emphasizing the importance of supplying fuel for aid trucks, hospitals, bakeries, and desalination plants.

According to Mr. Griffiths’ remarks, Mr. Türk cautioned that the idea of creating a “safe zone” is not viable due to its lack of safety and feasibility for the number of individuals in need.

War crimes investigations

He emphasized the significance of having independent oversight in documenting and examining evidence of any wrongdoing, stating that this can be a lengthy but crucial procedure. He also highlighted the necessity of having access to both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory for monitoring purposes.

If local officials are not willing or able to conduct investigations, and if there is conflicting information about important incidents, an international investigation may be necessary, according to him.

When questioned about the incident at Al-Shifa hospital, which was targeted by an Israeli military attack this week, he stated that there were conflicting reports about the events there. He suggested an impartial international inquiry should be conducted to uncover the truth.

The Israeli military conducted a raid on the hospital, alleging the presence of weapons and explosives. There are also unproven claims that Hamas was using the hospital as a command center.

Potential for overflow

Mr. Türk highlighted the fact that the crisis is not limited to Gaza and also expressed concern about the volatile situation in the occupied West Bank. He noted an increase in settler violence against Palestinians and the use of military force in law enforcement operations.

After returning from a recent trip to the area, the leader of the United Nations Human Rights Office also expressed his concern about the potential for the current situation to affect the larger Middle East region.

He cautioned against the danger of increasing division, emphasizing the importance of all individuals working together to find a shared understanding and resolution.